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Wondering what to do with banana peppers? You might have served them on sandwiches, pizza, or Italian recipes, but there’s nothing like the flavors in this easy stuffed banana peppers recipe! Just like stuffed artichokes or stuffed spaghetti squash, stuffing banana peppers with sausage and cheese delivers meaty flavor and veggies in one tidy package. Best of all? They use super simple ingredients!
I’ve been obsessed with these peppers. Banana pepper recipes are healthy, delicious, and equally perfect for dinner, appetizers, or healthy snacks. This stuffed version reminds me of jalapeño poppers, but without the heat and made with sausage instead of bacon.
Why You’ll Love This Stuffed Banana Peppers Recipe
- Flavorful sausage, tangy banana peppers, and 3 delicious cheeses
- Crunchy peppers, creamy stuffing
- Common grocery store ingredients
- No mixing bowl to wash
- Easy healthy dinner for busy weeknights
- Naturally healthy, low carb, and gluten-free
Ingredients & Substitutions
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for stuffing banana peppers, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
- Banana Peppers – We’re using fresh peppers instead of the jarred variety. Choose large ones for easy stuffing.
- Olive Oil – For sauteing. Avocado oil, or any other heat-safe oil, would works as well.
- Sausage – I used Italian sausage, but any ground pork or savory sausage would work. You could also use plain ground pork and season with Italian seasoning.
- Garlic – I used fresh minced garlic cloves, but you could use 1 tablespoon jarred minced garlic for convenience.
- Fresh Tomatoes – Remove seeds for best results. You could also use canned diced tomatoes if that’s what you have on hand (be sure to drain well or use less so that the filling isn’t watery) or even substitute 1/2 cup of tomato sauce.
- Seasoning – Since Italian sausage is already well seasoned, I found that simply fresh parsley, sea salt, and black pepper were enough. However, you could add some Italian seasoning or dried oregano if you like.
- Cheeses – Cream cheese, grated parmesan cheese, and mozzarella cheese. Feel free to substitute the parmesan and mozzarella for an Italian cheese blend, or any shredded cheese that melts well.
How To Make Stuffed Banana Peppers
This section shows how to make banana peppers stuffed with sausage, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Prep. Preheat the oven. Line a baking sheet or baking dish with parchment paper.
- Slice the peppers. Use a sharp knife to cut each banana pepper in half lengthwise. Remove seeds and white flesh from the center. Arrange on the prepared baking sheet, open side up.
TIP: When handling peppers, wear disposable gloves.
Doing so can protect your skin and eyes from capsaicin, which can cause irritation.
- Brown the sausage. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add Italian sausage and cook until browned.
- Cook the garlic. Reduce to medium heat, stir in the minced garlic, and cook until fragrant.
- Cook the tomatoes. Add tomatoes and fresh parsley. Cook until any excess tomato juice has evaporated or absorbed into the meat.
- Make the filling creamy. Stir in cream cheese and parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Stuff the peppers. Fill banana peppers with sausage filling mixture. Top with shredded mozzarella cheese.
- Bake. Cook banana peppers in the oven, until they are soft and the cheese is melted and golden. If desired, garnish with additional fresh parsley, or basil works great as well.
- Ground Beef Stuffed Banana Peppers – Use ground beef instead of ground Italian sausage. You could also combine ground beef and sausage for a unique flavor. For a leaner meat, try ground turkey or ground chicken.
- Stuffed Hot Banana Peppers – Want these banana peppers to have a little kick? Simply switch the Italian sausage for hot sausage, or use a hot variety of banana peppers. Or, try jalapeno poppers instead.
- Caramelized Onion – Spoon caramelized onion dip inside the banana peppers and top with a sprinkle of thyme or chives.
- Crab – After slicing and removing the seeds, roast the banana peppers in the oven for about 15 minutes, until soft. Scoop cold crab dip inside the banana peppers and serve cold, or top with cheese and bake for 10 minutes.
- Spinach Artichoke – Make stuffed banana peppers with spinach artichoke dip, transfer to a baking dish, and bake until hot and melty.
- Store: Cool peppers completely and transfer to an airtight container. Avoid over-packing the container, as this can cause peppers to become soggy. Refrigerate for up to 3 days.
- Meal prep: Since recipes for banana peppers are both refrigerator friendly and freezer friendly, they are a great make-ahead meal.
- Reheat: Warm leftovers in your oven at 350 degrees F, or in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, until hot.
- Freeze: Place cooked peppers uncovered on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze for 2 hours, until firm and slightly frozen. Transfer to a freezer bag or container, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight or reheat from frozen.
What To Serve With Sausage Stuffed Banana Peppers
Banana pepper recipes can pair with so many sides, but this version works particularly well with Italian flavors:
- Rice – Regular rice is the classic option, but I prefer cauliflower rice or miracle rice for lighter options.
- Noodles – Make conventional pasta, or try low carb egg noodles (so much like real noodles!), zucchini noodles, or spaghetti squash in the oven.
- Salad – Serve Italian-style salads like marinated artichoke salad, my favorite Caprese salad, or roasted vegetable salad.
- Toppings – Serve as an appetizer with additional toppings like marinara sauce, sweet balsamic glaze, or homemade pesto.
More Stuffed Pepper Recipes
Peppers are made for stuffing! Try these delicious ways to enjoy them next:
- Baking Sheet – I recommend a warp resistant baking sheet like this one for even cooking.
- Skillet – I love this stainless steel pan for easy cleanup after cooking the banana pepper stuffing.
Stuffed Banana Peppers Recipe
Stuffed Banana Peppers (Sausage & Cheese)
This stuffed banana peppers recipe has the best filling – Italian sausage, juicy tomatoes, and melty cheeses – for an easy, healthy dinner.
Tap underlined ingredients to see where to get them. Please turn Safari reader mode OFF to view ingredients.
Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (191 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cut each banana pepper into half lengthwise. Remove the seeds and white flesh from the center. Arrange them on the prepared baking sheet, open side up.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the Italian sausage and cook for 8-10 minutes, breaking apart with a spatula, until browned.
Reduce heat to medium. Add minced garlic and stir for 1 minute, until fragrant.
Stir in diced tomatoes and fresh parsley. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the tomato juice has evaporated.
Stir in the cream cheese and parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Fill banana peppers with the sausage filling. Top with shredded mozzarella cheese.
Bake stuffed banana peppers for 18-20 minutes, until the peppers are soft and the cheese is melted and golden.
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Serving size: 2 stuffed banana pepper halves
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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I’ve never thought about stuffing a banana pepper and man have I been missing out! So good.
I’ve had stuffed bell peppers, but I have never tried stuffed banana peppers until now and they are fantastic! thank you so much for sharing this recipe
This was such a filling meal. Next time, I want to try stuffing with shredded chicken. I think that would be yummy too.